The European Union today announced that it has also approved the $8.5 billion deal by Microsoft to acquire Skype. EU regulatory clearance was announced just a couple of weeks after an Italian Skype rival raised concerns over Microsoft’s bundling plans for the technology. U.S. antitrust authorities already granted their approval of Microsoft’s Skype buy in June, 2011.
Microsoft’s General Counsel Brad Smith in a press release noted the approval stating:
“We’re pleased that the European Commission has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype. This is an important milestone, as we’ve now received clearance from both the United States and the European Union.
We look forward to completing soon the final steps needed to close the acquisition, bringing together the employees of Microsoft and Skype, and creating new opportunities for people to communicate and collaborate around the world.”
The deal included all of Skype’s technologies, including Qik, a streaming mobile video company that Skype acquired early this year for $121 million.
Skype has also invested heavily in Rdio, but nothing official as to what will happen to that relationship, which could further complicate the already murky Zune situation.